Country Living Series

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy freezing New Year

It was spectacularly cold this morning - 6 below zero - but absolutely clear as a bell and breathtakingly beautiful.

A thin crescent moon preceded the sun in the east by an hour or so.

The pre-dawn was pearly and peaceful, frozen into immobility.

Everything had hoarfrost on it.  The weeds...

...the hay fork...


...wire fences...

...and every tree.

The rising sun looked like fire through the frozen pines...

...a spread a warm glow across the land.

As the sun rose higher, it backlit the trees behind the barn, turning the hoarfrost into diamonds.  Unbelievable.

A good day to chop wood, both for the immediate warmth and for the woodstove.

JJ, our feral half-blind sorta-crippled barn cat, got caught in a sunbeam and couldn't move for a couple of hours.

In the evening, there was pink alpinglow on the distant mountains...

...and then a spiffy sunset.

What a heck of a way to start the new year!

(Click on any of the photos to enlarge.  Some of them - like the pearly pre-dawn, the alpinglow, and the backlit pine with diamonds are best appreciated at a larger size.)


  1. Happy New Year to you too Patrice, your family, and everyone who reads your blog. Thanks for the pictures, God sure does a great job at winter beauty.

  2. Girl, may you always have a ready digital camera card handy.

    These are really good to look at.

    The temperatures here this morning were in that range, too, but I think you've got us beat by a few degrees. It's definitely thermal underwear and flannel-lined jeans weather. There's hoarfrost in the tall green grass (which we have year round, lucky deer)and the pond looks like frozen ripples.
    Two days ago there fell what I initially thought was sleet, but which was actually something the meteorologist called grauple. Do you get that there, Patrice? Any readers know about this stuff? It actually looks like large grains of styrofoam. Pretty neat looking.

    And jumping topics from ice to fire...please notice the little blue feedburner window toward the upper left corner of the home page. It's not far below that gorgeous handmade Lewis Tankard now available here...!..oh, yeah..the feedburner: There are 698 readers at the time I'm posting so by golly we're about to see the site break the 700 readers mark. It's great to see the steady growth. Good stuff, Don and Patrice. Great way to kick off the year.

    I'm gonna brew a mug of tea and drink to your health and prosperity, and the same to the good souls who gather here.


  3. Oh my!!! These are absolutely breathtaking. Suitable for framing!! You really do live in God's country!! Happy New Year!!

  4. I don't know whether to feel relieved or jealous, as our New Year was 60 degrees here in KY.

    Happy New Year to you and your family :)

  5. 44 in Sacramento on sunday morning. Bur minus six degrees below zero isn't that a double negative making it positive? But seriously gorgeous pictures. Happy New Year!


  6. A friend of mine called last night to tell me he woke up to -9F on New Year's morning at his home in Southern Utah. And I was bellyaching that it was a high of 38F on that same day here in NW California. His cold weather temp sure put things into perspective for me in a hurry! I could not live in that type of weather - not with RA. I won't be moving to So. Utah or No. Idaho, bet that's a relief, huh Patrice!?? LOL

    A.McSp - I've seen that grauple stuff you mentioned. I didn't know what it was called, so thanks for the info. About 20 years ago I was being showered with this stuff that appeared to be a cross between a snowflake and a hailstone, but it wasn't hard - just very round and lightweight. I will not soon forget that chains and no 4WD and trying to get out of the mountains before dark. (I hope I made it.) :0

    Always learning so much here.

    721 readers now.

    Anonymous Patriot

  7. AP that's a heck of a deal...lost in the grauple!
    lol Girl I hope you find out if you made it back.
    Let me know if I should call Mantracker!

    @728 and counting

  8. How do the animals stay warm? Do they go in the barn?

  9. They always have barn access and many tuck themselves in at night (though others prefer to stay outside). They stay warm primarily by digestion, believe it or not. Animals must eat more in cold weather in order to keep their bodies warm.

    - Patrice

  10. Oh, ok. I was thinking of your cute chickens waking up popcycled in the morning. :) I hope I didn't wake you up. I was catching up on your blog from the start of the new year. There was a heated discussion going on about the lady from New York. Yikes! It is 1:15 am in Chicago and time to go to bed. Goodnight.